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Football Top Five: Managers' revenge

Brian Clough looking chipper


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With Andre Villas-Boas set to face Chelsea for the first time on Saturday, Alex Lee takes the opportunity to consider five moments when managers pulled-off famous victories (or nearly, in one case) against their old clubs...


Clough exorcises Leeds ghosts

Brian Clough's 44 day reign as manager of Leeds United is almost as famous as his 18-year stint in the Nottingham Forest hotseat. After accusing his new squad of cheating their way to success and generally upsetting all and sundry, Clough's reign at Leeds was over before he had time to wash his famous green sweatshirt. It was with great joy, then, that Clough took his Forest side to Leeds for the first leg of the League Cup semi in 1978 and ran out 3-1 winners. To further rub salt into Leeds' wounds, Forest won the second leg 4-2 and went on to collect the trophy in the final by beating Liverpool 1-0 in a replay.


McCarthy's Wolves bite back

Having been sacked by the Black Cats in 2006, Mick McCarthy returned to Sunderland with Wolves in May 2011 with a score to settle. With his Wolves side on the brink of relegation, their performance at the Stadium of Light belied their lowly position. Wolves ripped the Black Cats apart, winning 3-1, with one of the goalscorers, Jody Craddock, being an ex-Sunderland stalwart too. Mission accomplished and Premier League status all but secured - for that season, anyhow.


Martinez shows the Swans way to go

On 26 October 2010, Roberto Martínez faced his former club Swansea City for the first time as Wigan Athletic manager - in the League Cup. While his departure had been far from acrimonious at boardroom level, the Swansea fans felt betrayed and soon re-named their erstwhile hero 'Judas'. The ex-Swans favourite received a hostile reception from the fans that made the unappealing journey from South Wales to Lancashire, but Martinez and Wigan had the last laugh as Wigan won the match 2-0, courtesy of goals from Mario Boselli and Ben Watson.


Rodgers ram-raids Reading

Current Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers faced his old club Reading - where he had only lasted six months in the hot seat before the old 'mutual consent' moment occurred - in the Play-off final at Wembley in 2011. The annual match which is known as 'The Richest Game in Football' due to the cash that awaits in the Prem, was won by Swansea 4-2 largely thanks to a hat-trick from Scott Sinclair. The fact that Swansea had become the first Welsh team ever to gain promotion to the Premier League wasn't lost on Rodgers - nor the fact that he'd just got one over a certain Mr Madejski.


So near, yet so far

The final entry in the "Managers' revenge" series is a tale of so near, yet so far. Mark Hughes, unceremoniously dumped by Manchester City for no apparent reason, brought his QPR side to the Etihad Stadium on the last day of 2011/12 with a view to causing a major upset. If it wasn't for the combined talent of Dzeko and Aguero (current market value circa £55m) then Hughes would have orchestrated one of the greatest upsets in Premier League history. Sadly for him, a 2-1 lead became a 3-2 defeat in the space of three outrageous stoppage time minutes.


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17 October 2012

Premier League

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